Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Shakti (1982) - Directed by Ramesh Sippy, starring the powerful Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan

Shakti released in the year 1982 and was directed by Ramesh Sippy. Written by the inimitable duo of Salim-Javed, it starred thespian actor Dilip Kumar and superstar Amitabh Bachchan as father and son. Although the film was only a moderate success at the box office, it was notable for being the first and the only film to feature these two stalwarts of Bombay film industry. It was not a battle between these two actors but an interesting and intense duet where they played off each other’s strength. As audience you are left wonderstruck at the mastery of these two superb artists.

DCP Ashwini Kumar (Dilip Kumar) is known for his honesty across the police force. He is scrupulously sincere, conscientious, moralistic and hard working. He does not let personal sentiments stand in the way of his duty. His principles are severely tested when his child Vijay Kumar is kidnapped by gangster JK Verma (Amrish Puri). Verma demands that DCP Kumar release one of his accomplices who had been arrested by the honest cop or he will kill Vijay. An intense battle rages inside DCP Kumar as the father and cop battle it out. The cop emerges triumphant and he refuses to bow down to blackmail. He declines to release the criminal. Vijay escapes from the kidnappers himself and is eventually saved.

Vijay (Amitabh Bachchan) grows up never forgetting for even a day that his father had placed his duty over and above his son’s life. He feels a particular kind of resentment towards his father even though he is devoted to his mother (actress Rakhee plays Amitabh Bachchan’s mother in this film). Eventually he moves out of his father’s house and starts living with Roma Devi (Smita Patil). As an act of defiance he starts working for mobster K.D Narang (Kulbhushan Kharbanda), an erstwhile accomplice of JK who had saved Vijay as a child by letting him escape. Vijay decides to repay that act of mercy by doing all of Narang’s dirty work and illegal activities. Eventually the rivalry between JK and Narang forces Vijay to act as bodyguard for Narang and go on the run with him. Even though Rakhee tries to mediate between father and son, it is of no avail. However Kumar accepts Roma as his daughter-in-law. The climax of the film sees Kumar gunning down his own son as he tries to escape from the country. Vijay dies in his father’s arms secure and happy in the knowledge that he had never been abandoned by his dad.

The film is a must watch for the once in a lifetime coming together of Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan. The two set the screen on fire with their amazing histrionic powers. Amitabh especially is very good in his brooding understated avatar.


Filmfare Best Movie Award
Filmfare Best Actor Award - Dilip Kumar


Directed by Ramesh Sippy
Produced by Mushir Alam, Mohammad Riaz
Written by Javed Akhtar, Salim Khan
Starring Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Raakhee Gulzar, Smita Patil, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Amrish Puri
Music by R.D. Burman
Lyrics Anand Bakshi
Cinematography S.M. Anwar
Editing by M.S. Shinde

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